The following post was initially hastily removed because of some internet bullies with no sense of humor, but here it is in its full glory. We received a bunch of funny and MEAN comments about this. Apparently, some people think us to be expert travel writers who hate beginners. Uh, we ARE beginners. We haven’t even left yet! Goodness.
The post never wavers from opinion and delves deep into the ocean of hyperbole (of course, this is my style if you’ve ever read beyond one entry). There is no misrepresentation of fact or slander, so all I can say is, if you don’t like it, don’t read it?
Anyway, the entry has brought us considerable traffic (thanks!!!!). But true to spirit, this site will remain, as it has, a portal for our friends and family to keep up with our musings…
“Travel the world for $14k”
This seems like an exciting and curious claim, but I’ve just pored
over travel writer Nora Dunn’s 11 tips for thrifty adventures (via
iwillteachyoutoberich.com) and some of it seems legit. Dunn, a
freelance writer, seems to break down all of my stress into a bunch of
Now, a lot of what she’s saying is common sense. But common sense, and
knowing when to deploy it, could really help us extend our journey a
long time on our budget. When I looked at the $14,000 estimate, I kind
of *gulped* a little. Where she pulled this number from is curious,
since it seems rather arbitrary (I’m thinking an ass). I tend to
imagine that some of these writers who espouse cheap travel (see:
NYT’s “Frugal” traveler blog) are staying in EURO 70 a night digs, sipping
those elitist lattes (right?) and munching on fancy dinners. Well, I
must have gotten those zany ideas from somewhere (hint: the last
link). So, it was with a bit trepidation that I read Dunn’s advice.
I’m not saying I know more than these travel writers when it comes to
their trade, but damn it, I’ve rummaged my fair of dumpsters. When I
first moved to California, I was broke, hungry and depressed. I made
my way on a $150 one-way ticket with $500 in my pocket (my, uh, bank
account pocket). Food, entertainment and sanity was scarce.
In Berkeley, there are notorious dumpsters for scavenging food if you
need it. Some may view this as theft (idiots) or disgusting, but I
enjoyed the steady stream of day old bread from Semifreddi’s and Luna
bars (are they specially formulated for women? still TBD). These
helped pad my stomach and save me money while I looked for work.
Though, I think if I ever eat another Luna bar, I may vomit
forcefully. There was even an oft-mythologized beer dumpster from
Budweiser (thankfully, I never located that one).
So, what the hell does this have to do with anything? Well, first, I’m
not a bum. Necessity is the mother of…scavenging, perhaps? (I’m
running out of idioms.) Basically, I can make do, and I will make do.
If we need to rough it on the road, we can. I’ve definitely adjusted
to a more comfortable lifestyle at home, but I have my reasons (revoke
my punk card, I guess).
That said, I tend to take some of this travel advice with a grain of
salt (and you may, too)-most of it seems superfluously aimed at people
who have no concept of how to fend for themselves or are complete
adult diaper babies.
Nonetheless, I found some of her gems helpful:
> Use Which Budget for cheap airline tickets that big sites like Expedia or Travelocity miss. These budget connectors may save you hundreds of dollars.
> Check out other volunteer opportunities than just WWOOF. While I acknowledge that there are many homeshares, couchsurfing and volunteering sites out there, WWOOF is one that has been vouched for by many of my friends who have traveled abroad. Others she suggests checking out?
– Caretaker’s Gazette – A site for caretakers
– House Carers – Is exactly what you’d think it is
-Workaway – Another favorite of mine-exchange work for food and housing
Dunn goes on to advocate a lot about freelance work while abroad. I’m
not sure about you, but the last thing I want to be doing while on a
round-the-world trip is to be on a conference call with some douchey
ponce in America, sorting out the placement of pixels or arguing over
the merits of the semi-colon (there are none). I do that now, and
though it provides my means, it is far from how I want to spend my
One segment of the article professes that you “steer clear of souvenir
shops.” This warranted a hearty LOL. Was this written for my mother
(sorry, mom)? Who wants to buy some plastic shit in France that was
made in China, and spend an exorbitant amount of money to ship it
home, or make the mistake of carrying it around with them for the
entirety of the trip? I may be jumping the gun here, but I highly
doubt Mia and I will be wasting a lot of time in Ye Olde Souvenir
Shoppe. In lieu of my budget streamlining, I can hardly push myself to
buy new shoes that I need (instead, I’ve taken to hobby of mending).
An Eiffel Tower lighter is probably not in my future.
The rest of the article veers heavily into “no shit” territory, but
warrants a read, I suppose. Check out the whole thing here: